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20120511-Juarez-Lincoln-v-Flour-Bluff-Playoff-Baseball-019Shary had a beast of a team a year ago, but couldn’t get past bi-district. This year they were expected to be rebuilding, but they took care of business, winning district with an undefeated record, then winning bi-district by sweeping Eagle Pass Winn, 7-2, 12-0, last weekend.

Senior Eric Gutierrez played a key role in the first game, scoring two runs and batting .500.

Runs were also scored by Tres Barrera, Eddie Garza, Marcus Villareal, Joey Esquivel and Lance Madden. Though he didn’t score, Mario Vela had two hits that brought in two runs. Pitcher Barrera was credited with the win.

In the second game, Gutierrez pitched, striking out five and only giving up one hit. Francisco Martinez, who went 0-4 in the prior game, rebounded by scoring three runs and batting .667. Alejandro Venegas also struggled in Game 1 but responded with four RBIs on just two hits.

Tonight and tomorrow Bart Bickerton’s Rattlers will take on Harlingen South, 6-3 and 5-4 winners over Los Fresnos. The Hawks were the District 32 runner-ups, second only to Brownsville Hanna who lost last weekend. Playing again in a two-of-three format, the Rattlers will hope to return to the regional quarterfinals for the first time since 2010.

Sharyland was the only team from their district, as well as from the Big Six, to make it to the second round. Second-place La Joya Palmview lost big to Laredo United, 7-0 and 14-0, ending their surprising and successful season. Third-place McAllen Memorial was swept by Eagle Pass, 7-1, 12-10.

Fourth place Mission was just a couple hits away from picking up a monumental win over Laredo Alexander. At 25-3, the Bulldogs were expected to give Mission something similar to what United gave to Palmview, but it wasn’t so. Rick Lozano’s squad battled valiantly before losing 7-6. Alexander made it to the regional finals a year ago, beating Mission in the first round as well.

20120511-Juarez-Lincoln-v-Flour-Bluff-Playoff-Baseball-008

Classification 4A’s Juarez-Lincoln­ – who had a great regular season by finishing second in District 32—lost 11-0 to Flour Bluff. Not one 4A team from the Valley was able to advance.

There are some teams from the Valley who did win bi-district and continue in the next playoff round. San Benito, PSJA and PSJA North all were winners. San Benito faces Alexander and North takes on Eagle Pass. PSJA’s showdown with United could be epic.

In softball, Edinburg, McHi and Edinburg North are the lone Valley teams to remain for both the 5A and 4A classifications. Edinburg is tied for 10th place in the statewide softball poll by the Texas Girls’ Coaches Association.

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